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Church planting 8: Methods

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These are notes from a simple introductory course on Church Planting. The majority of the course notes presented here are based upon J. D. Payne’s Planting Apostolic Churches.

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Church planting 8: Methods

  1. 1. Church Planting: Assignments
  2. 2. Church Planting: Assignments NOW!!!!!
  3. 3. #8 Methods of Planting
  4. 4. Very Important: All methods within church planting are designed towards one simple result: Seeing people become disciples of Christ.
  5. 5. We have seen the big picture - the multiplication cycle - but we need to see that different teams use different methods in different locations to achieve this result.
  6. 6. Payne helpfully quotes the experience of Jeff who is a church planting catalyst. I’ll let the book continue to the story,
  7. 7. “Jeff helps to equip and mobilize churches and church-planting teams. Many of these teams serve in the United States among unreached people groups from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal and Egypt.
  8. 8. I asked Jeff about the methods used among the Muslim groups. He began by summarizing their overall approach. “We want to use simple evangelism and church-planting methods that are transferable to the new believers and churches and are easily reproducible across their social networks.”
  9. 9. Talking specifics, Jeff said, “We try to get to the gospel message as soon as we can in our interaction with others. That’s where the power is found. We begin having many spiritual conversations with others and then invite them to continue our conversations through an eleven-week discovery Bible study…
  10. 10. …that is customized to the person’s religious background. For example, we use a study tool called ‘The Prophet’ with our Muslim friends, which begins with creation and continues to the birth of the church. This study particularly addresses matters related to shame and fear— significant issues in many Muslim cultures.”
  11. 11. The Spirit cannot be limited to a timeline, and not everyone’s journey to faith is the same. Even so, Jeff mentioned that church planters using this method are seeing Muslims come to faith after about a three-month period and be baptized shortly thereafter, and are reporting new churches after two years.
  12. 12. Jeff stressed the importance of church planters teaching a healthy ecclesiology to the new believers. Shortly after people come to faith, the team teaches them about persecution and begins to cast a vision for them to be a local church.
  13. 13. Biblical teaching on the nature and purpose of the church follows, and the new small group usually comes to the conclusion that the Spirit has led them to become a local expression of the Body of Christ.”
  14. 14. Guidelines for Church Planting Methods
  15. 15. Each CP team has its own strategy for deciding how it will reach people for Christ. This section deals with guidelines that help you decide which methods to use.
  16. 16. 1. Methods should be Biblical
  17. 17. Are your methods rooted in the Bible? Are you prepared to do anything, or do your activities have to be in line with what the Bible reveals?
  18. 18. What are the dangers of doing “anything” as long as people are reached?
  19. 19. Methods should not make the Gospel different to what it is, change what it means to be a disciple, or change what it means to be part of a local church.
  20. 20. 2. Methods should be Reproducible
  21. 21. A good question to ask is, “Could another person in the team, or a new disciple, do this?” People will reproduce what they know, and how it has been shown to them (modelled).
  22. 22. If they can’t maybe it is too complex — although at times there might be a need for complexity.
  23. 23. More complex methods = more difficult for the church to reproduce them in disciple making and church planting.
  24. 24. People will want to copy your methods - can they simply copy them? What is simple in your culture might be more complex in another culture. Explore what works.
  25. 25. 3. Methods should be Ethical
  26. 26. Ethical = morally good or correct. Our lives should be above reproach - 1 Tim 3:2
  27. 27. We should never use methods that compromise our integrity or honesty. Forget results: We must maintain high, godly standards at all times.
  28. 28. 4. Methods should avoid paternalism
  29. 29. Paternalism is the belief that the team knows what is best for the people.
  30. 30. Much missionary activity from the West was based upon a belief that other cultures were ignorant and uncivilised. Teams work to reproduce what church etc. was like in the West.
  31. 31. New believers would not have the education of the missionaries and so were thought to be incapable to doing what the missionaries did. The result is people who were made to depend upon the missionaries - they always needed outsiders to help.
  32. 32. Experience and wisdom are valuable and important. But CP teams should not teach / act so that local people can’t work without them.
  33. 33. We should be looking to use methods that equip and release local people to do the work of ministry. Helps them to work in a way that is right for their culture and location.
  34. 34. You wouldn't put a size 12 show on a child who takes size 3. Don’t create structures or use methods that don’t work for the culture you are in.
  35. 35. Try to develop an approach that depends on the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, other believers and pastoral oversight.
  36. 36. restart
  37. 37. 5. Methods should show Christ sustained abilities
  38. 38. From the starting a new church needs to have certain qualities. What do you think they might be?
  39. 39. To make sure people don’t think of these as being ungodly or found in ourself Charles Brock calls these “Christ sustained abilities”.
  40. 40. Self-identifying. They call themselves a local expression of the Body of Christ, a church.
  41. 41. Self-supporting. They should have the financial and human resources required to function as a local church.
  42. 42. Self-governing. With elders, Holy Spirit filled believers, and the Word of God they should be able to make their own decisions about life and ministry.
  43. 43. Self-propagating. Led by the HS they should fulfil the Gt. Comm. locally and worldwide.
  44. 44. Self-expressing. Expressing their worship in ways that are appropriate to their own context and culture.
  45. 45. Self-teaching. They should be able to exhort, rebuke, encourage and instruct one another according to the WOG in the guidance of the HS.
  46. 46. Self-theologising. Relying on WOG and HS for accountability and discernment, they should be able to apply biblical truth within their context.
  47. 47. Question: How does a church show these qualities soon after it has been birthed?
  48. 48. Answer: We should be relying on the Holy Spirit What we will be in 5 years is different to what we are now
  49. 49. The church will develop these abilities more as time goes on, but it should (because of the WOG and HS) show them in some way from day one.
  50. 50. Examples Self supporting - might mean a large budget supporting staff and buildings. It might also mean having enough money to make photocopies.
  51. 51. Self-theologising could mean the ability to write a book on systematic theology but could also mean being able to answer the question, “How do we apply this biblical truth in our context?”
  52. 52. Imagine: during the evangelism stage an unbeliever asks, “Where should we meet to study about Jesus?” What would your response be?
  53. 53. One possibility here is to say, “Where would you like to meet?” Why is this a good response?
  54. 54. This gives them some power even before they get born again and can lead to a greater willingness to be self governing later on
  55. 55. With believers you ask, “What should we do next week?” What would be a good answer?
  56. 56. Look for appropriate answers from the believers - answers that reflect a desire to learn and an understanding of where they are in growth and understanding.
  57. 57. What would you think if they stand and look at each other whilst saying nothing?
  58. 58. Imagine… your do a study on the subject of praise and worship using some Psalms as examples. How do you conclude, what do you say?
  59. 59. 1. As we have seen in the Bible, music, singing, raising hands are an important part of worshipping God. How do you think we should apply (use) this truth in our weekly gathering?
  60. 60. 2. You tell the new believers: “The church is a worshipping community with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, so next week we’ll bring along a guitar and some songs to sing.”
  61. 61. 3. Someone in the group might say, “We should have some music and sing to God. But none of us can play, would one of you please play for us?”
  62. 62. 3 Answer. Two possible answers, “Yes” or “If there is no one to play an instrument we can always sing without music”
  63. 63. The team must resist the temptation to make decisions and plans, to provide the musicians, handle money etc. The CP team should only do the things that they alone can do.
  64. 64. Don’t lead them to think how amazing, how gifted, how special the CP team are, don’t let them think that they can’t do it as well as the CP team. Remember: Methods Matter — your methods will make people stand without you, or make them rely on you. Which do you want?
  65. 65. Remember 1 Cor 11:1, Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
  66. 66. 2 Tim 3:10, Heb 13:7 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings…
  67. 67. …Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
  68. 68. Summary
  69. 69. Ask yourself and the CP team the following questions: ◆How will your team connect with people? ◆How will your team share the gospel as widely and soon as possible?
  70. 70. How will your team begin to teach new believers in community? 1. To be disciples of Jesus 2. To share the Word with others
  71. 71. 3. To practice biblical community 4. To share and teach the Word with one another 5. To serve the world locally and globally
  72. 72. ◆How will your team incorporate culturally relevant practices into gatherings, in a way that helps them to identify as a truly local church? 1. Will you lead them to have a meal together?
  73. 73. 2. Will you lead them to incorporate music in a time of praise? 3. Will you have corporate sharing and prayer times? 4. Will you allow (literate) them to read the Word publicly?
  74. 74. 5. Will you encourage them to give public testimonies of God’s grace? 6. Will you encourage them to collect offerings for ministry and mission to the poor, orphans, widows, church planting etc.?
  75. 75. ◆What other questions might your team consider?
  76. 76. The End

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